Welcome to the Turning Point Blog, everyone! This is Michael, owner and founder of Turning Point Pen Company. For this first post, I thought it would be fun to share with you the story of how this business got started.
Before creating Turning Point Pen Co., I had no entrepreneurial aspirations. I was a college athlete, inquisitive student, and had worked in many different job settings. I’ve always enjoyed working hard to produce high-quality results. I also have a passion for living life to the fullest and seizing the opportunities that come along; if there’s one thing that I’m not, It’s lazy. So, when an opportunity to grow and share a craft that I loved dropped right on my head, it was my nature to take it…and run with it. Here’s how it came about.
A “really nice fountain pen”
Streamers hung festively in the entryway, but there was no place for my balloons. ‘Twas the night before graduation and I had every reason to celebrate: my closest friends were all there, I had earned my bachelor’s degree, and I had realized my dream of being a college athlete — I could not have been more excited for the unknown future. Though I didn’t know what the next step in my life was going to be, I had strong faith that I would find it.
That night, just a few hours before the sun rose, a conversation came up about a gift. “All I want my parents to buy me for graduation is a really nice fountain pen,” my friend randomly declared.
My eyebrows raised up and ideas immediately started forming. I hadn’t made a pen in a while, but my experience told me that I could create something special. That off-hand comment sparked something in me. I asked her, “What if I could make you that fountain pen?”
The gift that sparked the excitement
She looked at me blankly for a moment… and then freaked out. Pure excitement! Now, this lovely person is full of life and pretty excitable anyway, but the idea that I could make this meaningful gift ignited something under her in that moment.
“I’d know the artist, it would be one-of-a-kind unique, it would be my pen…,” on and on she went — she was electrified.
That was the moment when I knew that, no matter what career path I chose, I wanted to keep creating this kind of excitement in the people I came into contact with.
Take another look at the pen in this article’s featured image. That is actually the pen that I made for my friend in this story — the pen that started it all!
Her next comment was as impactful as her joyous reaction, I’ll playfully admit. She said, “My parents are paying for it, so charge me whatever you want!” — a very attractive offer to this young man who, at that time, identified as a “broke college student.” My mind’s idea light lit up.
That’s when my middle school passion for turning wood on a lathe transformed into my first business idea.